05.31.2010 12:12 PM

Oliphant: Mulroney broke ethics law (or, we want the $2M libel settlement back)

“This Inquiry provided Mr. Mulroney with the opportunity to clear the air and put forward cogent, credible evidence to support his assertions that there was nothing untoward about his dealings with Mr. Schreiber. I regret that he has not done so. I express this regret on behalf of all Canadians, who are entitled to expect their politicians to conserve and enhance public confidence and trust in the integrity, objectivity, and impartiality of government. Mr. Mulroney’s actions failed to enhance public confidence in the integrity of public office holders.”


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    Joseph says:

    This is a damning report. Oliphant is no Gomery, I’ll say this.

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    William M says:

    Well Brian, that’s GOTTA hurt! Imagine had the inquiry been broader in scope.

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    allegra fortissima says:

    The fact that Karlheinz Schreiber was not only a “businessman” but also an arms dealer and intimus of right wing Bavarian politician Franz Josef Strauss (Strauss was forced to admit that he had lied to Parliament and was forced to resign) speaks for itself.

    Good company can make a man whereas bad company can ruin him.

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    Dave Breukelaar says:

    what’s the penalty for this, other than a slightly tarnished reputation?

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    Marc L says:

    I don’t think Oliphant said Mulroney broke any laws, did he? He said he violated the ethics code. But that’s not the same as breaking the law, is it?

    Unfortunately, this really stains his reputation. Policy-wise he was a great Prime Minister: Free Trade, the GST (which replaced the absurd MST), the Privatization of Crown Corporations, the Treaty on Acid Rain, etc. But ethically, he was visibly not. Very far from it.

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    Saskrad says:

    Kinda makes the Sponsorship Scandal look pretty small, hte difference being that no policitican ever pocketed that money. Shame.

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    James Smith says:

    Please, oh please, oh please oh please! Tell me he’s going to jail because we know the present PM is tough on crime.
    Oh, no jail? Well I’m sure we’ll get all that money back that the government paid him ’cause of his hurt feeling because we know the present PM is all about financial accountability.
    No? Well how ’bout the great man ‘fessing up?
    No eh? Can we at least take this person’s name off the building at the UNB?

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    Ted says:

    So Mulroney takes and keeps $2.1 miilion form Canadians via a lawsuit that wouldn’t suceed today. Taxpayers pay $1.8 million for his lawyers. He still has the $275,000 – $300,000 that he took from Schreiber that he never paid full taxes on. He’s a thief and should be charged as one. And please Brian, don’t bring your family as props to any more court proceddings.

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    Cam says:

    It all reminds me of the old Steve Martin schtick from the 70s. Remember, ‘How to get a million dollars?’

    Martin joked ~

    ‘First, get a million dollars.

    Then when the taxman comes to the door and asks why you didn’t pay your taxes, you say,

    ‘I forgot. I forgot to pay my taxes.’

    Ok, so it’s not a million bucks but really, envelopes of cash???

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    Sandra says:

    I have a test for Mulroney. He claims his reputation is so important to him and that he’s sorry for his so-called misjudgment (he’s a lawyer for gawd’s sake) – well Brian, put your money where your mouth is and offer to pay the money back – cheque in hand.

    Otherwise, your comments are lies.

    Be a man Brian.

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    JH says:

    Sorry – no proof of what Chretien government alleged in Airbus – therefore like it or not he was slandered. As for the millions of dollars this has cost taxpayers from then to now – the only party I’m sure you cannot blame it ons is the NDP. As for everybody else who was out to get Mulroney no matter what? HMMMM?

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    Student501 says:

    The law suit covered the Bear Head project for which Mulroney did receive money. Mulroney was acting in bad faith during the examination in 1996, the Government should at least try to get the money back.

    Mr Harper it’s time to put those Government lawyers to work.

    “Mr. Mulroney acknowledged that, when examined by Mr. Sheppard, he had taken an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. He also acknowledged that he was well represented by counsel, who could have objected and who did object to Mr. Sheppard’s questions when they deemed them to be improper.

    The LOR makes reference not only to Airbus but also to the Bear Head Project and payments made to Mr. Mulroney while he was the prime minister of Canada, as a result of a conspiracy to which he was allegedly a party along with Mr. Schreiber and Frank Moores. Mr. Mulroney’s statement of claim expressly pleaded the injury to his reputation arising from the fraud allegedly committed by Mr. Mulroney on the Government of Canada in relation to the Bear Head Project and to payments to Mr. Mulroney by Bear Head Industries through Mr. Schreiber. This plea is important because it brings questions about Mr. Mulroney’s relationship with Mr. Schreiber within the parameters of the statement of claim. As far as I am concerned, that means that such questions were proper and should have been answered fully and truthfully.

    Advice to a person about to be examined not to volunteer information is good legal advice. However, in my view, not volunteering information is substantially different from avoiding answering legitimate, proper questions to which no objection has been taken by counsel for the person being examined. I found that Mr. Mulroney avoided answering such questions as summarized below. I also note that, while a witness being examined before plea is required to answer only those questions that fall within the confines of the statement of claim, if a person does not object to a question and
    chooses to answer it, he or she must do so fully and truthfully.”


    “Mr. Mulroney’s position is that the answers he gave to those questions were given in the context of Airbus. However, as I have already noted, both the LOR and the statement of claim also referred to the Bear Head Project.

    Mr. Sheppard asked Mr. Mulroney about his relationship with Mr. Schreiber while he (Mr. Mulroney) was in office, about meetings he had with Mr. Schreiber during that time, and where those meetings took place. In response, Mr. Mulroney gave an expansive answer that included a reference to meetings in his office and others that might have taken place in other circumstances. He did not mention his meeting with Mr. Schreiber at Harrington Lake on June 23, 1993″

    When asked by Mr. Wolson why, in his answer to Mr. Sheppard, he had not mentioned the Harrington Lake meeting, Mr. Mulroney replied that he had not been asked to detail all the meetings he had with Mr. Schreiber.

    Mr. Sheppard also asked Mr. Mulroney whether he maintained contact with Mr. Schreiber after he ceased being the prime minister. In his answer, Mr. Mulroney failed to disclose the true state of affairs, including his agreement with Mr. Schreiber; the two cash payments in envelopes he received from Mr. Schreiber in hotel rooms at Mirabel and in New York, respectively; or the cash payment he received, again in an envelope, in the coffee shop at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Mr. Mulroney’s response would lead anyone not knowing the true situation about Mr. Mulroney’s dealings with Mr. Schreiber or the money he had received from Mr. Schreiber to believe that the post–prime ministerial contact consisted of a couple of brief meetings to have a cup of coffee.

    For Mr. Mulroney to attempt to justify his failure to make disclosure in those circumstances by asserting that Mr. Sheppard did not ask the correct question is, in my view, patently absurd. It was not Mr. Sheppard’s question that was problematic; rather,it was Mr. Mulroney’s answer to the question. Mr. Mulroney’s answer to Mr. Sheppard’s question failed to disclose appropriately the facts of which Mr. Mulroney was well aware when such disclosure was clearly called for. I suggest that Mr. Sheppard did ask the right question in attempting to ascertain what contact, if any, Mr. Mulroney
    and Mr. Schreiber maintained subsequent to Mr. Mulroney’s departure from the office of prime minister.”


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    Lipman says:

    This sordid affair is now over. John Ibbitson’s column was right on the mark. If it is true that Mulroney is notoriously thin-skinned, this will be a devastating blow to the former PM in this final chapter of his public life.

    In future literature, Mulroney will be written off as an unscrupulous operator with acquisitive tastes. which is sad, as he could have done better for himself and most importantly, for Canada.

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    JStanton says:

    Well, its clear now that his reputation is completely ruined, which is life shattering for the “poor boy from Baie Comeau”. He will never recover.

    This is a tragic story, and his public gutting – simply to serve the political agendas of others – has not been worth it. Mr. Mulroney’s predicament has been used by others to distract from the real issues at hand, and, moreover, I think its unseemly to undermine our political institutions for such small beer. Clearly, his actions were wrong, but there will never be evidence of criminality.

    Sure, we can all be smug now, from our sense of righteousness, and smile from the vicarious pleasure of watching the train wreck; certainly I did, initially. But then it was like watching a gang of drunken skinheads kick old yella to death. I can’t watch anymore; its just too sad.

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    Squiggy says:

    I agree………………..Mulroney should pay back the 2 million dollars…………and the liberals should pay back the 39 million still unaccounted for from the sponsorship boondoggle

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    Malcolm Barry says:

    We know where Ibbitson is coming from and why would he say anything else.

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    sj says:

    Who will be the first person to ask the Quebec bar to start an investigation? It is clear he lied under oath, someone should take his licence.

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